"A traditional village-based homestay would maintain and share a traditional way of life, provide Ladakhi food, be based on eco-friendly concepts and require small amounts of investment for renovation not building."

That’s how a group of Ladakhi villagers, Snow Leopard Conservancy India, tour operators and others described the tourism experience they were interested in promoting - Homestays. The rest, as they say, is history.

A visitor survey was conducted in 2001 in Leh to assess interest in the concept, and based on the results, it was decided to go ahead and develop Homestays. In 2002, with financial assistance from UNESCO and The Mountain Institute (TMI), the Snow Leopard Conservancy started implementation of Himalayan Homestays in Ladakh.

Our objectives are to:

  1. Ensure that host communities have developed a unique mountain experience, and are obtaining a fair return for their services and investment.
  2. Ensure that Homestays contribute to conserving local cultural and natural heritage.
  3. Create a distinctive, authentic, reliable, tourist accommodation and experience - Homestays packages for visitors in the world’s highest mountain range.

Between 2002 and 2003, in collaboration with villagers, tour operators and other agencies, we have:

∂      Established over 100 Homestays
∂      Trained all Homestay providers in basic hygiene, cooking and hospitality
∂      Trained over 25 village-based naturalist guides in basic guiding skills
∂      Produced and distributed interpretive and information material on Homestays
∂      Constructed Parachute cafés and preserved wildlife
∂      Worked with Ladakhi tour operators to promote Homestays

Our Sponsors

  • Winrock International – India
  • Ford Foundation

Our partners

Did You Know?

With growing awareness about conservation & substantial benefits from the Homestays programme, the Hemis community has cordoned off 16 sq miles of traditional pastureland for the highly endangered Tibetan Argali (also known as the Great Tibetan Sheep) and plans to promote it as a tourism asset.


SHAN – The Official SLC-IT Newsletter



Himalayan Homestays won the 2005 Global Vision Award for Community Outreach and also featured in The Guardian's Top Ten Fair Trade list. It was recently shortlisted among the finalists chosen from 83 countries and over 300 ecotourism initiatives in the Geotourism Challenge by National Geographic & Ashoka's Changemakers.


© 2008 Himalayan Homestays. All rights reserved
Designed by Spiritnoise, Content Packaging: Gouri Banerji and Vandana Mohindra